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Updated on December 9, 2015

What is a Hedge-Rider

The Hedge-rider is someone that practices a type of Shamanistic Witchcraft, since witchcraft in itself is so diverse so to, is the path of the Hedge-rider.

It all falls down to personal preference and culture

Without getting to heavy into the history of the word, the term Hedge during the Middle Ages was being used along side other words, mostly in the context of an outsider, or an odd person, since we hear of stories of the old wise cunning woman that lived on the edge of the village and knew her herbs, Charms and spells- the term Hedge witch got picked up by the Author Rae Beth and she moulded a path together being slightly Wiccan in nature.

This term Hedge-Witch, can also be separated by the term Hedge-Rider, what I mean is...someone who refers to themselves as a HedgeWitch, may not work with the other realms, they are more or less, a Green, Garden, Kitchen, Cottage path, where as the Hedge-Rider term is more used with people that DO work with the other realms.

And to confuse the title more, Hedge Riding can also be used instead of Trance work, when they go inner travelling, some Hedge witches will say I'm going Hedgeriding.

As to define a Hedge-Rider....this can be quite difficult as the paths in the Pagan community are all very diverse, yet share similar quality's and practices, just the terms and what or who they work with all slightly differ.

What does a Hedge-rider do?

The Hedge-rider works on the Boundary between this world and the other realms.

From a Modern perspective, this can be viewed as linking our

Conscious with our Unconscious

The Hedge-Rider is therefore linking the rational with the Psychic and Intuition side, the dream state, the meditation state.

We are not literally walking into another realm, it is and has always been running parallel with our own, the Hedge-Rider and certain gifted people can feel and work with this other dimension, they can sense the energies and the other beings that reside there.

To work with this energy/ Other realms, the Hedge-Rider achieves this best by working in liminal places, this helps because:

  1. Sacred spaces such as Burial mounds hold lots of Ancient Energy, an area that feels different, somewhat Magical, is probably a more suitable area to work a ritual in, than say a busy park.
  2. By making a wall of incense,a spell, or by sitting in front of/ or passing through a liminal place it acts as a kind of symbolism, and solid thing to look at and ground in this reality. It provides the atmosphere needed to connect with your Unconscious or Other realms.

Who do they you work with?

Now not everyone that works with one foot in the other realms, and one in this world, are going to refer to themselves as a Hedge-rider, or a Hedgewitch, some people have never even heard the term, I believe it to be somewhat Modern, even though the concept is very old and something our Ancestors would have practiced in one form or another.

One being a Norse Practice called utista where the Volva which was a kind of term for Witch would have sat outside of the community, more than likely on a burial mound or sacred hilltop to communicate with the Ancestors or other realms.

Hedge-Riders , all work in different ways, the ways to travel are different, the beings they encounter are different, here is a rough guide to some of the beings that Hedge-Riders/witch work with.

  • Spirits
  • Fairies
  • Elves
  • Dark Energy beings
  • Light Energy beings
  • Angels
  • Ancestors
  • Deities from Pantheons the Hedge-Rider/witch is part off;

What is quite interesting is the Diversity in the Witchcraft trials, those accused came up with a mixture of familiars, spirits, ghosts and fairy beings.

And here is a list of different terms for Hedgerider Journeys

  • Inner Travelling
  • Inner Journeying
  • Meditation
  • Path-working
  • Trancework
  • Seidr
  • Walking the Hedge
  • Riding the Hedge
  • Oot and Aboot
  • Crossing or Jumping the Hedge

The places or Boundaries are going to be different as well, if a Hedge-Rider works with Angels, then working a Ritual or Inner Journeying in a spooky Graveyard or Burial mound is probably not going to be a very good spot.

Liminal Places for the Hedge Rider

  1. Hedges (obviously)
  2. Trees
  3. Forest edges or Woodland edges/ Orchards.
  4. Face boundaries in Parks, so your facing away from Ordinary things.
  5. Burial Mounds
  6. Hill-Tops
  7. Mountains
  8. Graveyards and Cemeteries
  9. The Beach
  10. If indoors: you can lay down your wand, Broomstick, build a wall of incense to create an atmosphere.


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    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 2 years ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      Nice piece of work. I've heard of practicing Pagans who believe they can ascend into a higher plain to explore healing methods for people suffering from damage to their aura or energy sphere. This provided me with an additional angle to think about.

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image

      Pollyanna Jones 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very interesting piece, thanks for the article. It's very hard to pin a name on a type of path at times, as it's such an individual craft to most people. You've covered it well.

    • profile image

      Dawn 2 years ago

      Very informative !